After years of investigation by New York investigators to collect the illegal items, the US has returned 27 antiques to Cambodia, including Hindu and Buddhist statues.
Several Hindu and Angkorian Buddhist statues, including a bronze meditating Buddha on a Naga, a Shiva statue, and a Buddhist sandstone sculpture of Prajnaparamita, were valued at around $3.8 million.
Phoeurng Sackona, Cambodia’s Minister of Culture and Fine Arts, described the antiques as the “lost spirits” of the country’s forefathers.
Following investigations by Manhattan’s Antiquities Trafficking Unit and Homeland Security Investigations, approximately 400 Cambodian artifacts were repatriated to ten countries.
Two 680 kilogram (1,500 lb) stone carvings stolen decades ago and on display at a San Francisco museum were returned to Thailand last week by US authorities.